Sandee Brawarsky's blog

A Virtual Tour Of Tel Aviv Architecture

A graphic artist’s search for a new apartment in Tel Aviv has resulted in a spectacular new website documenting some of the White City’s most distinctive buildings.

Avner Gicelter, 44 Balfour Street.

For 'Innocents' Author, A Triple Crown Of Fetes

Francesca  Segal has won the triple crown of Jewish book awards for her first novel, “The Innocents”.  She now adds Hadassah Magazine's prestigious Harold U. Ribalow Prize to the 2013 Sami Rohr prize for Jewish Literature and the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction.

Francesca Segal accepts Hadassah’s 2013 Ribalow Prize from Shira Nadich Levin, niece of Harold Ribalow. Tal Atzmon

Matti Friedman Wins Rohr Prize

Matti Friedman was awarded the largest Jewish literary prize, the 2014 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, for "The Aleppo Codex” (Algonquin). His book, published in 2012, traces the unusual history and complicated provenance of the precious manuscript, considered to be the authoritative text of the Bible. The codex was hand-written about a thousand years ago.

A New New Month Tradition, At Drisha

For the new month of Elul, songwriter Elie Lichtschein introduces his “mysti-folk” version of Hallel to New York. Lichtschein has composed new melodies for the psalms that are traditionally chanted on Rosh Hodesh, the beginning of the new Jewish month.

Elie Lichtschein

Midnight In Times Square


Tonight at 11:57, and every night through the end of August, those passing through Times Square will have the opportunity to see artist Jack Goldstein’s film “The Jump” on more than 15 large digital screens, usually displaying ads.

Jack Goldstein, "The Jump," 1978,16mm color silent film. Courtesy of Galerie Daniel Buchholz and the Estate of Jack Goldstein

Natalie Portman To Direct, Write And Star In Amos Oz’s “A Tale Of Love And Darkness”

Natalie Portman will be making her debut as a feature film director with her own adaptation of Amos Oz’s 2002 memoir, “A Tale of Love and Darkness” – and she plans to play his troubled mother.

Getty Images

A Book For A Better Future

Writers, critics and publishers keep trying to refine their definition of a Jewish book, whether it’s a Jewish author, subject, or just sensibility. After meeting Molly Melching when she spoke at a breakfast sponsored by the American Jewish World Service, I’d vote to stretch the category. “However Long the Night,” which was written about Melching’s tremendous humanitarian work in helping African women, is essential reading – it’s a book about transforming the world.

Photo courtesy Tostan

Stepping Out In Yiddish

Never has gefilte fish sounded so sexy.

Eleanor Reissa belted out a number from the Yiddish theater, “ Borsht and Gefilte Fish ,” swaying her hips as she sang, as part of this year’s National Yiddish Theatre - Folksbiene’s gala concert at NYU’s Skirball Center, honoring financier, philanthropist and communal leader Morris W. Offit, 76. Tom Brokaw presented his friend with the award.

Joel Grey accepting his award. Photo courtesy National Yiddish Theatre -- Folksbiene

Last Chance: Palestinian-Israeli Harmony … At The Metropolitan Room

Peace seemed not only possible, but was palpable this week at the Metropolitan Room as Mira Awad sang her own compositions in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Her words are earthy, her voice transcendent and the yearning for something better remains in the air.

Mira Awad is an Arab-Israeli performer. Nanni Fontana

Tainted Names and New Jewish Identities

As I write that descendants of prominent Nazis have chosen to live in Israel today, and that some of them – with surnames like Goering, Goebbels or Himmler -- are converted to Judaism or in process, I realize that readers will reread this sentence to make sure they didn’t misread.

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